Agencies use more social media tools

30 November 2012

NEW YORK: Advertising agencies are adopting an increasingly diverse range of social media services when running campaigns for clients, new figures show.

STRATA, a firm providing media planning and buying solutions, polled 80 agencies, and found 23% were aiming to use Pinterest, the content-sharing site, for marketing purposes, up from 15.5% last year.

Google+, which was launched in mid-2011, enjoyed a lift from 18.3% to 25.7%. "It's becoming clear that these platforms are more than just a fad," said Joy Baer, STRATA's chief operating officer.

YouTube, the video-sharing property also owned by Google, expanded from 36.6% to 41.9% in the same period, and this trend is expected to grow as tools like content marketing gain further ground.

Baer said: "We're approaching a seismic shift in the way advertisers approach online video. With the recent introduction of Google Adwords for video, advertisers can measure the effectiveness of their video content, which they were previously unable to do."

Elsewhere, Facebook, boasting over 1bn members worldwide, recorded a decline of 4.9 percentage points to 82.4%. Twitter, the microblog, was also down by 1.5 percentage points to 36.5%.

LinkedIn, the business-orientated social network, similarly saw a drop off in interest, registering 23%, compared with 28.2% some 12 months ago.

Foursquare, the geo-location service for mobile phones, witnessed an equivalent trend following a contraction of 2.9 percentage points to a reading of 4.1% overall.

Moreover, the number of shops not planning to employ social media in any form slid from 8.5% to 8.1% year on year. This total stood at 13.6% in the third quarter of 2010.

Looking specifically at advertising, STRATA revealed that 84% of agencies anticipated using display formats going forward, with search on 78%, social media on 57% and mobile on 45%.

Indeed, a 26% share of contributors expected to spend more on digital than traditional media in three years' time at the latest.

However, the major challenges facing respondents included merging these channels, mentioned by 39% of the sample, and proving return on investment, which posted 49%.

Data sourced from STRATA/DigiDay; additional content by Warc staff